Workplace Movie Hall of Fame: Barbie

Hosted by

Steve Boese

Co-Founder of H3 HR Advisors and Program Chair, HR Technology Conference

Trish Steed

CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors

About this episode

Workplace Movie Hall of Fame: Barbie

Hosts: Steve Boese, Trish Steed

This episode of At Work in America is sponsored by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement, and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes.Think stress-free payroll isn’t possible? Think again. Whether you need to simplify your tax filing or streamline your day-to-day pay system, Paychex makes managing your payroll easier and more profitable. That’s why we’re here with open arms and a special offer for new clients — for a limited time, get one year of complimentary digital W2s so you can focus on growing your business instead of time-consuming payroll tasks. Learn more at Terms and conditions apply.

This week, Trish and Steve dive into the 2023 blockbuster movie, Barbie, and the workplace trends within it.

– Gender roles and expectations in the 1970s and 2020s

– Gender pay equity and empathy in the workplace

– Gender bias in leadership and the importance of individuality

– “Barbie” movie themes and impact


Thank you, for joining the show today!  Remember to subscribe to At Work in America wherever you get your podcasts.

Transcript follows:

Announcer 0:00
Welcome to At Work in America, sponsored by Paychex. At Work in America digs in behind the headlines and trends to the stories of real people making a difference in the world of work. And now here are your hosts, Steve Boese and Trish Steed.

Steve 0:26
Welcome back to the At Work in America show. It is my favorite line of show that we do here on the podcast. It’s time Trish for the workplace movie hall of fame. Are us excited as I am?

Trish 0:39
I am so excited. These are the most fun. We always enjoy picking movies and then having to watch them sometimes several times before the show and I’m always surprised at all the little nuggets we find them so I’m excited for today.

Steve 0:54
I am too and we picked a the most recent movie we’ve ever done on the workplace movie hall of fame series over the years. It’s 2023s biggest movie the movie everyone talked about, I think all summer long. Of course it’s Barbie. Trish, we’re going to be breaking down the Barbie movie. And I’m pretty sure everybody out there listening to this has probably seen the movie since it was so popular. And so we’re gonna get into that and there’s a lot to talk about for Barbie. But first Trish, let’s thank our friends at Paychex.

Steve 1:23
This episode of At Work in America is sponsored by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Do you think stress free payroll isn’t possible? We’ll think again, whether you need to simplify your tax filings or streamline your day to day pay systems, Paychex makes managing your payroll easier and more profitable. From Self Service Employee portals to automated processes paycheck services can save time and money or giving you peace of mind that everything is up to date and accurate. Don’t miss out on all the benefits of working with Paychex. They are there with open arms and a special offer for new clients Trish for a limited time. You can get one year of complimentary digital W2s so you can focus on growing your business instead of time consuming payroll tasks and you can learn more at of course Terms and Conditions apply so thank you Paychex and thanks folks for being with us today. It’s gonna be a fun show.

Trish 2:22
I think so I want a Paychex Barbie. Do you think we could make that happen?

Steve 2:27
Let’s put in a request yeah!

Trish 2:29
A request with our friends there would that be fun payroll Barbie?

Steve 2:33
Yeah, here’s payroll Barbie, I love it! I’m some enterprising vendor hasn’t done that yet. I know a quick reset on Barbie everyone’s heard of Barbie most people probably have seen it Barbie this year church grossed $1.38 billion Wow with a B worldwide, making it the biggest film of 2023. It was I saw it in the theaters myself the first time I’ve have rewatched it in preparation for this podcast directed by Greta Gerwig written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Bombeck and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, among other people America Ferrara Will Ferrell bunch of others found a fun movie interesting movie. I heard a lot about it before I watched it in was even surprised still, though, by the movie itself. The first time I thought where do you want to start with Barbie Trish? Maybe just your initial impressions when you thought the first time?

Trish 3:32
You know, that’s such a good question. The initial time I saw it was like you in the movie theater. I actually went by myself and in a sort of off peak time because if anyone experienced going with, you know, the huge crowds and everyone dressed like Barbie and everybody wearing the pink right? I kind of picked a day where I could go and sort of do that. At least I was still a pretty full theater but by myself anyway. And I will tell you I think I came out of there really mad because I was a huge Barbie girl growing up in the 70s and I still have many of my Barbies. I actually collect all of the holiday Barbies. I have all the Barbie ornaments on a whole Barbie Christmas tree every year. So I’m a fan, right? And I just came away initially thinking, oh my goodness, Barbie and Mattel lied to us as women. I will say though, that now that I’ve rewatched it, and given it, you know, more than a month to sort of sink in a little bit. I did have a much better time rewatching it and I don’t think we were lied to and I think there’s a lot of really interesting themes in the movie. And that’s what I’m hoping we talk about today is not sort of that initial like gut reaction that people either like Love it or hate it but some of the nuances because it really is a very smart and well written script. I think In terms of how men and women, you know, act and react to each other in today’s society, what did you think?

Steve 5:08
I didn’t come away with that thinking we I was lied to. But then again, I hadn’t thought much about Barbie, ever in my life. So, which is, I guess part of the message here? I think it was a really interesting, I think I appreciate it more on the rewatch, right because I was looking at it a little bit more closely and could take a little bit more time watching it right, when you’re streaming it at home, you can stop it and even think about it or rewind, etcetera. But I do think it’s really good from a satirical point of view, right? Because we see the first part of the movie and then again, later Barbie land right where Barbie lives, which all the Barbies are basically in charge, right? completely in charge of Barbie land, they have all the important jobs, they are total control of their lives. They’re not relying on men really, for much of anything other than kind of ornamental kind of fixtures in the world. And, and they’re having a great life. And it’s wonderful, right? And it just the juxtaposition, of course to the real world that we see in the movie and in our real world, right? Where still today, right? And then typically hold most positions of power, make most decisions, women struggling for things like pay equity, access to opportunity, equitable health care on and on and on, and the absurdity, right, have that, right. Because if something’s absurd, right, patently absurd. And the opposite of it should also be kind of absurd, right? And I think that’s kind of what I took away from rewatching this movie. And if if Barbie land itself is kind of silly and absurd, certainly the patriarchy right, as the term they use throughout the movie is also absurd, that it’s still perpetuate. So that’s kind of that’s my top level kind of take away from the movie.

Trish 6:59
I agree with you. I think the reason I kind of felt lied to was as a child, again, in the 70s, which was very much about women’s liberation. And, you know, being a feminist and all the things I remember, sort of the the story as a young girl that you’re told by all the different Barbies that you get in, and they talk about it early on in the movie, right? You go away from having baby dolls to having a doll that can be anything. And I still love and stand by the message that yes, women can can really be any career they want to be. But yet, it never talked about either growing up or now in the movie in what it made me think about is that we’re still expected to be a mother, we’re still expected to take care of a home, we’re still expected to do all the things that maybe in the 50s, or before that women were doing in the household. And you can also be a career, right? So it wasn’t that you are trading off any sort of responsibilities with a partner or a husband, despite whatever, it’s another person in your life. And I think that now if I really look at it, maybe my you know, our kids are both in college, you and I, and I think now maybe there is more of a sharing of, you know, what the roles will ultimately be when when they are having families and whatnot. But definitely, it was interesting. I mean, I remember my mom telling me I had a had a book when I was, I don’t know, four or five years old, a little golden book called Susan in the driver’s seat. And it’s my favorite story ever. But it was about Susan could become a pilot and Susan could become a veterinarian and all the things so I think this was just Barbie was perpetuating a thought that we wanted young women and young girls to have in the 70s. But it didn’t address then what happens to the other role that they had before then. And so it does make you feel a little bit like a failure if you’re trying to do it all once you grow up, because you can’t have it all. You can’t be all things to all people. So I don’t know, it just was happy and sad at the same time, if that makes sense as I was watching it.

Steve 9:16
Yeah, a little bit because I think much like I we think we see the movie as a bit of a satire. The real world part of the movie, right when Ken and Barbie enter the real world and begin to try to navigate their way around it and some of the, the encounters that they have, and the obstacles Barbie faces are all too real, right? I mean, just for some real world context, Trish, you know, just some statistics right there. And these are things we all know but it’s it’s, it’s jarring to hear them read aloud again or to be reminded of them. So as of as of the beginning of this year, January of this year church in the Fortune 500 Right 500 largest companies in the United States, ranked by revenue. You want to guess how many what percentage of the Fortune 500 had a CEO who’s a woman?

Trish 10:09
I want to say like 15%

Steve 10:13
Trish 10% Just over 10% Actually the 15% You probably actually write about, it’s 53 out of 500. I didn’t do the math. It’s just over 10% Right. So you probably almost exactly right. As of this October church, we have 100 senators in our fine, fine country, and senators are not going to keep quizzing you there are only 25 women out of 100 senators. Of course, we’ve never had a woman president. We know this. And the United States Supreme Court, which I thought this one would be interesting to just to pull right. Since there’s there’s a supreme court judge in the Barbie movie as well as the president right that right or Barbies, there have been 115 Total justices who have served on our Supreme Court and history of our Supreme Court, which seems like a low number, by the way, but only 115 only six have been women. And currently for serving right now. So I guess progress is being made there. But six out of 115 in like 200 year so these things and then of course, we’ve done so much work with our friends at especially on pay equity, right and more to come on that. But of course we know hey equity gender, gender pay imbalance is still certainly a real thing in corporate America. Years and years and years after realizing it was a thing discussing how to try to fight it discussing how to remedy it all real thing so while we can kind of look at the Barbie movie and the girl Haha, that’s funny when when Ken tries to get a job as a doctor or, you know, with no qualifications. Opportunity is unequally distributed still in our country today.

Trish 11:51
It is but one thing I think that the movie especially on the rewatch helped me think about was that when you when the movie sort of starts, right, and she’s in Barbie land and everything is perfect, right? And she even says numerous times every day is the perfect day if you’re Barbie. Right? And so I think that blending what the movie does really well is blending the fact that a perfect day is not a day where every single thing goes right it is not where the woman gets everything and the man doesn’t. Right. It is some sort of a more thoughtful blended experience for both sexes, right? Because First it started out it was like everything was great when it was Barbie world, or Barbie land. Sorry. And then when it was Ken world, it was all for the men. Right. And so I do think that that was kind of an interesting way to, to show Yes, we do have a ways to go, of course, and you mentioned lots of statistics there. But I do feel like if you look back in, you know, in the last 50 years, we have made really good strides. And I’m hoping that that accelerates the pace, right, the first time that these things are being talked about is certainly the pace is going to be much slower, right? I do feel like Gen Z and now Gen a behind them hopefully will like move the needle a little more quickly than did our generation did. So in that way. I thought it was really thoughtful in the movie that they sort of address both sides of that and how that felt. Because when everything was perfect and Barbie land, I don’t know if you caught this on the rewatch when it becomes sort of Ken takes over right when Barbie come back. And now it’s Ken world, I think they called it. And he looked at our really closely at one scene and he’s like, how does it feel? Yeah, right. Like, and, and that’s it. I think if women and men can both appreciate how it feels to be the other person. And that’s a really challenging thing to do to ever think about what does it feel to be someone who isn’t me? You know, and that goes beyond gender, of course. Right? We talk about these things in human resources all the time. But it’s having that empathy. And that, yeah, that ability to understand at some level.

Steve 14:16
Yeah, I think that’s right. You’re talking about empathy, right, which is odd because that word keeps coming up. It came up earlier today on something we were we were doing came up at HR tech when I was guesting on a podcast and with UNUM, and they asked me what my word of the year was for 2024. And I said empathy. Right. And that was in the context of thinking about really advanced technologies and how they’re influencing and changing work and how it’s important to not let technology kind of overrun, right, some of the things we’re doing in workplaces as humans, but yeah, I think that that part of it is really good. It’s a theme in the movie that’s maybe undersold and maybe does require that second watch to, to pick up on a little bit. I do think that Despite knowing about a lot of these challenges and access to opportunity and expectations being really different for women and men, I think the movie makes a really good point about that both in a workplace context as well as societal context, right that women are asked to kind of be all things at all times, and just the right amount of each kind of characteristic or trait. Otherwise they get maybe chastised for being like, like in a workplace context, but we might talk about leadership, right? It’s been pretty well documented understood that a woman leader, if she’s a strong tough beaver often is called, you know, bossy, or mean, or even worse words than that, right? And it undermines a little bit if she’s really really tough, whereas those same traits in a male leader right are generally speaking of respected or looked up to there. There are feted right. Oh, what a what a powerful, tough leader. What a strong leader that we need for these times, right? It’s unfair, it’s a double standard, but it’s been really really difficult in the movie does a good job of highlighting this and probably like the movies like this often have like that Oscar nomination or Oscar winning speech or scene in them. And this movie certainly does, right when when the the the human person, the human made human character, American Ferraris, character, glorious her speech, Gloria about, you know what women are expected to do. And it’s a great scene, it’s great speech, and probably will win her an Oscar nomination, if not an award. But it I should say this in the workplace context, you’re a woman, leader, woman executive, many different roles, etc. that resonate with you at all?

Trish 16:47
It does. And while it’s frustrating when you think of it in that way, what I’ve told young women who have worked for me in the past, who have thoughts of becoming a leader themselves, it’s like, we are women. We don’t want to be men. That’s not the right answer. Right? I don’t have to approach leadership in the same way to be seen as a strong female leader. I think that’s where sometimes we get a little sidetracked because when you think about you mentioned pay equity earlier, and just equity in general, it doesn’t mean that everyone has to do it the same way and go about it through the same steps or processes, right. Sometimes it’s okay to approach leadership with more grace and finesse, and you can get just as much accomplished and be seen as just as much of a great leader, if you do it that way. So I think I would just say that females need to think about the specific situation they’re in, in the specific work culture they’re in, and how they want to be seen, just because a boss appears tough also does not mean they are I worked many years as people who listen to the show probably know what a large professional services firm and there were predominantly male partners. And I was very young, my 20s. And I learned pretty early on that the men who seemed the most confident, right the like air quotes, the best leaders, the most dramatic, strong leaders also had a very normal natural insecurity about them. And they just hit it really well. And I think if we just remember, we’re all human. We’re here to try and make businesses better. We spend so much time at work, that if we can just bring your own unique skills and approach to the role, whatever role you’re in, that that’s enough, and you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to do it the way somebody else did it. I would say, definitely not going to read the speech that, you know, Gloria’s character gives in the movie, but I would say this, whether you’ve seen the movie or not, please go, like go out on YouTube and find the speech, right? It’s there. But it talks about, you know, women have to be all these things, but not ask for it. They have to, you know, be able to fill all these roles.

Trish 19:15
And I wondered when I got to the end of it. The first time my first thought was, oh my gosh, I want to run to the store and buy my daughter, a Barbie and my niece a Barbie. Right. And so they’re college students. And one of them is studying journalism, and you know, PR and media, that sort of thing. And the other ones in hospitality. Now there are Barbies that are very close to those there’s like a reporter, journalist Barbie, and they’re, you know, are several hospitality related Barbies, right that own big shops or coffee shops or whatever. And I go to Target and I’m standing in the Barbie aisle looking at all these career type Barbies. And I pick up both of those Barbies, and I’m going to buy it and then it just like hit me like a ton of bricks like no, if I do that I’m actually perpetuating kind of the what I view as the negative side of, of the Barbie message, which is putting a woman in a box. And my biggest takeaway from this whole Barbie movie experience is, I don’t want to put the next generation of women in a box. And I instead bought them kind of the most generic plain Barbies that you could find. And I gave it to them with the message that I’m not buying you a career Barbie, like I would have received when I was young. Because I want you to imagine a world where the job that you are going to have even though you’re in college right now, for a specific thing, the job you’re going to have doesn’t exist. And so I’m going to give you the most generic Barbie possible, because you can truly be anything you want to be and that might be like in the movie that might be depression Barbie occasionally, right? We’re learning. We you and I have had many conversations on the show and with you know, companies about this. People are talking about mental health more than ever before. That wasn’t a thing talked about in the 70s when we were growing up, or at least not in a positive light.

Steve 21:19
And not at work either. Right? Certainly.

Trish 21:22
Ya know? And so now I would just say that, you know, some of the things that might seem a little funny in the movie that that should be what Barbie is Barbie or any sort of, of dollar toy we give to our children to play this should show you that. Yeah, Barbie can have a career but Barbie also has to potentially take care of children and probably need we need elderly Barbie now. Like where’s elderly Barbie? Because my Barbie would be taking care of elderly Barbie right now. And yeah, you know, in some days, it’s tough.

Steve 21:54
You mentioned caregiving there Trish and there was one other adjacent topic I wanted to bring up at least quickly on today’s show when we’re talking about the Barbie movie, and it’s certainly not directly related to the Barbie movie. But it’s it’s thematically interesting to me. And it’s been in the news, which is a couple of weeks ago, the Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to Claudia Goldin, who’s a professor at Harvard, and her work for many years has centered on pay equity, gender pay equity, specifically, and she’s done a ton of research on the issue. And while I can’t distill it all into like a 32nd summary, one of her primary conclusions is something that’s probably obvious to men, those of us who have rear people, right, who have had gone through this is women’s careers, and therefore often their pay, right, and their career prospects really divert from men’s once they start having children once, you know, once children get into the equation, the main reason, right, as we know is the disparity in home caregiving responsibilities, that have historically and still today are shouldered by women, right and typical in most households. And that’s a very difficult thing to crack. And it’s certainly broad strokes, it’s, you could even argue it’s out of the the realm of what an organization any organization can do. To combat, right, it’s very much a specific thing that happens in people’s lives. But nonetheless, it happens. And it happens a lot. And it’s very difficult to overcome the data is pretty clear about what happens to the directory of many women’s careers, once they either careers get interrupted, or if they don’t get interrupted, they get they have to step back somewhat. They can’t work as many hours they can’t take as difficult projects. They can’t perhaps travel for business, right? Because they they’ve got more responsibility at home than say, a partner who’s often male, not always, but often male, who’s also working.

Steve 24:11
But again, our in our society, certainly, and probably many others around the world to the Division of outside of work, kinds of labor and responsibilities is pretty unequal. And that’s hard to understand hard to get your hands around, right, like what to do about that. But that doesn’t make it less true. And so I think the reason I bring that up, though, was obviously a Nobel Prize in Economics. Honestly, one of the few talked about the fortune 500 CEOs and the senators and all that that very few economists, female economists have actually won the Nobel Prize. She’s the only one who’s won it as an individual. A couple of other female economists have won with other economists who are males. It’s important to think this on top of a vertical cultural phenomenon Unlike the Barbie movie has put these issues, they have never had as much attention probably as they have right now. And so my question is really not directly to use it. But more rhetorical question is, will we finally start seeing some meaningful progress on some of these things? Or 20 years from now? We’ll be kinda, oh, there’s 27 senators now that are female instead of 25. Right? You know what I mean?

Trish 25:26
No, I think we will see progress. And here’s why that phenomenon you’re talking about, is still fairly young, in the grand scheme of, you know, humankind, right. So, again, like, many of my peers, including myself, had mothers that were still stay at home, they didn’t have a job outside of the home. And so while we were being fed these messages in the 70s, and 80s, from all sides about, we should be able to go into the workplace and burn our bras and do the things right. But we didn’t have an example at home like No, no shame on our mothers at all, or our fathers that they didn’t experience that they didn’t even know how to instruct us how to ask for more money, right? They didn’t instruct us on how to balance it a household and being a working woman, right, because they just had never done it. So I don’t want to, you know, sort of pound on the moms that came in the women that came before us, but they just didn’t know how to teach us. And so it is a little bit if you are a child of the 70s and 80s, I think especially who’s in the workforce right now. It’s hard, it’s our job to sort of figure these things out. And again, as we’re bringing up the generations that come after us, we’re teaching them to approach it differently, because they’re watching us juggle and, you know, sort of flex our time and make really tough choices. I don’t know, look at whoever stays in the workforce. If someone stays home with a child, you’re probably going that’s a choice, you’re probably going to make a little bit less for a while because you’re, you’re out of the workforce, maybe for a number of years, right? Is it fair and equitable for you to make the exact same? Maybe, maybe not? Right? It just depends. But I love that we’re talking about it. I love that it’s more common. One of the things in that speech we’ve talked about, I have written down here that there’s a line of like, she says, You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean, right? That’s It’s so interesting, that yet the the women that are in the workforce right now, we’ve been taught that we’ve bent and really people I’m just gonna say women, people, we were, were talking about this the other day with a, you know, on a Gen Z show we were doing where we were tight, you go into the workforce, and you keep your mouth shut and your head down, and you just work hard, and good things come to people that work hard. So we’re trying to train and teach Gen Z to be more vocal, and that it’s okay to ask, you know, in a very respectful way for what you would like in life, right, whether that’s opportunity, money, whatever the case may be. So that’s I love the movie brought it up.

Steve 28:14
Those are other examples, though Trish, where data has shown pretty consistently as well that women are less likely to negotiate for salaries or higher salaries on job offers, they are less likely to apply for a job, where they don’t meet every single listed job qualification, but maybe they meet some of them, whereas men, they’ll throw their hat in the ring. Regardless, men will, are more likely to ask for more money or negotiate for better terms and conditions, right. And, again, these are big, heavy questions that are a little bit beyond the scope of a movie, to at least talk about solutions to them. But they’re all out there, right. And they all contribute to some of the things that we see some of these outcomes that we’ve talked about earlier, where only 10% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and only 25% of our senators are women and just pick whatever domain you want to pick, right? It’s this isn’t to I won’t say the name of the company. I don’t want to call them out. But I’ve told the story a couple times. I apologize if you’re hearing it for the 100th time, but I remember I was I was working in consult software consulting, we had a huge huge client like big big company like a fortune 500 type company, right. We had to go to a meeting in their, in their offices at their headquarters and it was company named XYZ tower was the name of the building, right? It was their buildings, big tower and we go up to the top floor right where the the boardroom was going to be because it was a big heavy meeting where they were going to maybe invest like millions of dollars and buying our stuff, right. So it was a long hallway. Once you get off the elevator to walk toward this boardroom was in in the this long hallway. It was kind of like the corporate Hall of Fame. Right. Various awards and trophies and you know, the best Employer of the Year trophy so kinds of things, right? We’re in this hallway. And in this long hallway, starting at the beginning, it’s complete been around a really long time. Call it 150 years, were portraits or paintings of every CEO in the company’s history from its founding up until the present times was a few years ago. So 150 years of portrait. So how many people is that going to be? I don’t know, a dozen. I don’t remember how many there were, but Polit call it that. And each portrait was you know, an old white guy, one after the other, gray haired even right. Most of them are not bald, in you know, whatever the ball guys you’d love to, but was one after the other after the other after the other all the way to the end. Now, maybe they’ve made some changes subsequent to this, I don’t know. I remember turning to my colleague who was walking down the hallway with and I said to him something like, this hallway should be renamed like great moments in the history of old white guys. Right? Because that’s how it felt right? And so there’s still so much of that around, right. And it’s frustrating, I guess, even to me, who is I mean, that privileged group, right. And so I can’t say I’ve been really impacted by any of this. But it’s still frustrating, right? In a way.

Trish 31:16
I like that you took notice of that, because that was obviously when you were a younger man, and maybe didn’t have to take notice of such thing. But you’re right, I think if you’re in an organization, where they you see that the leaders have I looked a certain way. And that’s not just being male, like, you know, could be your, your race, ethnicity, whatever. And you just don’t feel like you have that final step is an opportunity. And that doesn’t mean you don’t, but it does send a little bit of a subliminal message to you that, hey, when you get to this level, if you don’t look like us, you probably won’t be at this level, right? Or maybe you’re going to be a token person at that level. But I will say this, I mean, we just came off of HR tech, and many different, you know, vendor events. And one of the things that I appreciate, at least in our industry is that it is top of mind. I will say this, every vendor that I have talked with, finds it important to share how they’re specifically trying to move the needle in terms of women in leadership, people of color in leadership, people having voices, you know, LGBTQ plus having voices, I mean, so I do think again, I think that the needle is moving, and it will pick up pace as the generations come along. But we have to stay on it, you know, we have to talk about it. And kudos to a movie like Barbie that seems very superficial for actually having so many layers to it to make us think about these things enough to even be able to talk about it in a workplace movie hall of fame way.

Steve 32:58
For sure. I mean, I think the fact that so many people saw this movie worldwide, but certainly here in America $1.3 billion, right? Because movie of the year, we’ll probably get some Oscar nominations, as well. So there’ll be another kind of cycle of publicity around the movie, I watched it again, myself, now I did it. You know, for this podcast, I probably might have watched it again anyway. But I think that’s important that the movie was such a success, right? Because that just means the messages and the themes that we’re talking about resonated with enough people that I mean, because we’ve heard stories of people going back to three times to see the movie or the kind this was the kind of movie where a person might see it, and then say, go to their friends or go to their daughters or go to their husbands or boyfriends or men say you must go see this movie. Not many movies reached that level of kind of public consciousness where people are going back right and specifically to take someone else with them who they feel needs to hear this and see this.

Trish 34:04
Yeah, I’m glad you said that and especially the part about maybe their you know, the men in their lives because I felt like there were there were certain times where the characters say things that’s like as a woman sometimes you feel like you’re banging your head against the brick wall that why can’t a man in my life whether it’s a father and uncle a brother, whoever right a son, understand what we go through. And I just felt like there were some characters that really put it eloquently but in a less maybe say threatening way but just a less in your face kind of way to truly explain how through actions how this happens. And yeah, I don’t think women are asking for special treatment, but we do want to be considered for opportunities and we do want to feel like you don’t have to do at all because I We’ll say for women of my age, we still feel that way. We feel like we have to have a career. And you have to be able to run a household still and do all the things and you know, to be that perfect person. So I feel like it kind of gave me permission to, like I said, embrace depress Barbie once in a while. No, I mean, like, give myself a break. Right? Give myself a little break every now and then and feel like everything has to be perfect. Like it was the beginning of the movie. Right? I will say one thing. I don’t know if you caught this. I caught this. Because again, you know, I was born in 1970. And I think both of the dolls were actually made before them, but two dolls made an appearance and they they do quickly, like dismiss it like they were discontinued by Mattel. One was the pregnant Barbie. Right? And the other one, the other one was called Midge. And it was Barbies little sister who still exists, but they’ve changed her. She’s like a little girl now, but when I had her, I’m sorry. I said mid Skipper, Skipper, those sisters. She was a teenager, and I had the doll. I probably still do I need to find her. But like, so she was like a little girl, like, you know, like a 10 year old. And then you would twist her arm? And she would get taller and her boobs would pop out?

Steve 36:19
What but yes. All right, I hit puberty. I have no.

Trish 36:23
See. Now listen, and they discontinued this doll. Like, to me? No, like, think about this. So what they did was I feel like Mattel was even making steps in the 60s and 70s of like, Hey, this is reality. People do have babies, people do go through puberty. And then all of a sudden, they took it away, like no Barbie is just fully formed, you know. And so I just feel like that was maybe a missed opportunity to keep things like that. For young girls to see like, that’s a normal part of life. You just you do have puberty and you do have babies and you do have, you know, whatever. So I don’t know, I hope they bring back some dolls with a little more realism.

Steve 37:06
Yeah, I mean, I guess I think just kind of wrapping up a little my thoughts on this, I think while the movie is kind of fantastical and fun, and there’s some big song and dance numbers better interspersed throughout it, which are interesting and kind of fun. But if the movie does nothing else, then put these messages, these themes and at least kind of in stark terms, right? What the world looks like the how the real world looks differently than the Barbie world based on kind of the power imbalance across genders. It does nothing else than put that message in front of millions and millions of people, I think it’s going to have positive impact overall, right and to calm. Let’s hope that right. And the last thing I want to say before I let you kind of give us your maybe summarize summarize thoughts on this is my favorite quote in the movie is when Ken is in the real world, and he shows up at some nondescript office building, and he wants to get a job, he thinks he could just get a powerful job because he’s a male. Yeah, and the corporate man won’t hire him, you know, because he needs an MBA or a PhD, whatever and, and says, You guys aren’t doing patriarchy very well. And the corporate guy says, we’re actually doing patriarchy very well. We’re just better at hiding it. And to me, that was like one of the killer meant maybe maybe my favorite line in the entire movie, right? Because it’s kind of white. You know, my story about the white man Hall of Fame in the in the, in the corporate tower and the statistics we have about CEOs and leaders in different fields. Almost every organization out there church is going to say the right thing when it comes to gender equality and gender balance and providing opportunities not just to women, but to other folks, like you mentioned earlier, everyone’s going to say the right thing. Sure, but yet, here we are still right with only 10% of fortune 500 CEOs, women and women making 82 cents for every dollar men make right still so so people are still doing patriarchy very well. They are and they are good at hiding it. I thought that was a killer line.

Trish 39:18
I love that that was sort of the line you’re using to summarize it because obviously you and I don’t talk and and share notes before we record these and I’m gonna hold it up for you. But anyone listening, the last line that I wanted to close with is the exact same quote, nice guy. So but look in. To me, that’s very interesting, because it shows that we both found sort of the same thing important, right? And that’s, that shows progress, right? The fact that we both feel like that’s something that we can, you know, hopefully contribute to having movement on, a little less high thing of a celebration of the patriarchy, right? And just more equality. And again, you and I have worked on a lot of things over the course of a year. And I think us being examples, in terms of where we feel like we can have an impact, and we’re showing our children that and that’s really the message for me from this movie is, you know, if you haven’t seen it, your male, female doesn’t matter. Take your children, take your friends, take your parents.

Steve 40:30
You can get it, it’s on Amazon Prime right now you can actually buy it was like, you could buy it for less than it takes two people to actually go to the movies. Now. It’s like $17, or something to buy this movie.

Trish 40:42
That’s true. The price has come down since last month when it first went on to streaming because it was $29. But I will say this, though, I saw don’t quote me on when but I did see that HBO Max is going to start having it in November. So if you haven’t seen it, maybe just hold on for a few more weeks. And if you have HBO Max, just watch it when it comes on on there. But yeah, I mean, I think look, it’s a good it’s a fun movie. It’s really we haven’t even talked about really, that the acting was actually really good. Margot Robbie, what a beautiful woman who’s just funny and talented and got emotional. She did a great job. America Ferreira. You mentioned Ryan Gosling. I mean, they were all really good in their roles. And it’s, it’s funny and colorful and lots of good music and not super long right?

Steve 41:29
We do the Oscar show every year when some of those movies clock in about three hours this sub two hours it’s a good watch. A good rewatch as well. So I was glad to I’m glad we did this. I was glad to rewatch the movie and I think since it was such an important movie, both from a cultural standpoint and a popularity standpoint as well as thematic standpoint. It made sense not to wait and do do a podcast about it. So I’m glad we were able to squeeze this in so anyway, I thought was great. I hope I hope folks listening thought the same. We’d love to get your thoughts on it. And yeah, that’s it for the workplace hall of fame show. I think Trish?

Trish 42:06
Sounds good. This was a fun one. I can’t wait to hear what our next one will be. I think we need to go something a little more old school though.

Steve 42:12
Yeah, let’s dip into the archive a little bit and maybe do something closer to the holidays. I think it’d be great.

Trish 42:19
Oh, I don’t think we’ve done a workplace holiday movie. Have we?

Steve 42:24
Yeah, you’d have to think about that there’s a treasure trove of workplace kind of Hallmark movies now that we do movie. We do or any of those popular enough though that normal people would know them though right?

Trish 42:38
Because well I think so. Because yes people watch the Hallmark movies so I will say this if you’re listening this show please shoot us an email or tweet or something and let us know like what Hallmark movie should we even consider

Steve 42:51
that sounds good all right. No, I watched a couple of those every year there was one where it doesn’t matter. I will think about it.

Trish 43:02
They’re all the same. They all town girl goes back home and falls in love with smaller

Steve 43:07
in the big city girl comes back home and helps a small town businessman because his business is struggling

Trish 43:13
by like baking pies or something. Yeah, and a fair carnival.

Steve 43:18
I never thought about marketing my business. You know, and she figured out alright, good stuff. Thanks to our friends at Paychex. Of course, I know that they love the Workplace movie hall of fame. They’ve told us that in the past, but and I think people do like it as well. So this was super fun Trish. Thanks for taking some time today. And thanks everybody, for listening to you at work in America and get all the archives at or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you next time and bye for now.

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